The View from The Shard

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The View From the Shard viewing window

The View from The Shard is a tourist attraction based in London's tallest building, The Shard.[1] The attraction offers visitors views from the skyscraper, with two viewing platforms inside the building: the first is a triple level indoor gallery on Level 69, and the second is a partially outdoor gallery on Level 72.

The attraction also has a ground floor gift shop as well as 'The Sky Boutique,' on Level 68, with limited edition souvenirs. It is the highest shop in London.[2]


External view from the indoor viewing gallery

Mayor of London Boris Johnson officially opened The View from The Shard on Friday 1 February 2013 in a grand ribbon cutting ceremony.[3] Over 5,000 people paid for tickets to be the first to experience the views of London on the launch day, including James Episcou from Epping Forest, Essex who took the chance to be the first to propose to his girlfriend from the highest point in London.[4] Shortly after the opening, The Guardian[5] released an interactive expanded panorama of London to allow users to explore the views from the observation deck online, augmented with ambient sounds of the city.

Journey through the attraction[edit]

Entrance and Level One[edit]

The entrance to The View From the Shard is on Joiner Street near London Bridge Station. After entering the lobby and passing through security, there is an opportunity for visitors to have a photograph taken in front of a green screen, onto which a view from The Shard is superimposed, which can be purchased at the end of the experience.

Along the walls of the lobby, animated maps and video screens set the historic context of The Shard's London Bridge location. Films and animations also highlight facts about London and The Shard. Graphics show how the building is linked to the city's transport system, showing the lifts moving inside the building and the trains running underneath in real time.

The Lifts System[edit]

An innovative lift service system was created for The Shard by KONE engineering.[6] Guests travel in two lifts going up and two lifts going down. These lifts travel at six metres per second, making the total time to go from Level 1 to Level 68 about a minute.

The ascending lifts use video screens and mirrors to create the effect of rising through iconic ceilings and roofs of London, including the dome of St Paul’s Cathedral, the Rubens ceiling at the Banqueting House in Whitehall, the spiral staircase at Monument, and the British Museum’s Great Court glass roof.

The descending lifts feature similar effects, using multimedia to create the effect of the sky receding, the seasons changing, and the streets of London coming into focus.

Transfer Zone[edit]

Guests transfer lifts on Level 33. They follow an image of the River Thames curving along the floor around which London is geographically mapped in 200 sentences written on the walls and floor, each describing a different part of the city.

The Cloudscape[edit]

Guests depart the lifts at Level 68 where the view of the city is obscured with playful cloudscapes. These give the names of the cloud formations that people may see from the viewing decks.[7]

The Indoor Viewing Galleries[edit]

Level 69 is the triple height, main viewing gallery which gives 360 degree views of up to 40 miles (60 km).

The level is equipped with digital "Tell:scopes" through which guests can explore the city around them in real time, as well as offering pre-recorded day time and night time views. The Tell:scopes are fully interactive and are able to identify over 200 famous landmarks and places of significant interest, offering information about them in 10 languages.

Partially Outdoor Viewing Gallery[edit]

Outdoor viewing gallery

The gallery on Level 72 at a height of 800 ft/244m is the highest public level of the building.[8][9] The level gives 360 degree views around the building and is partially open air, allowing guests to see the pinnacle of the building.

Admission and amenities[edit]

After their descent, guests arrive back in the lobby on at ground level where there is a gift shop offering souvenirs. The entire attraction offers guests free Wi-Fi access.

A specially composed orchestral and choral soundtrack performed by The London Symphony Orchestra and The Joyful Company of Singers accompanies guests through the attraction.


Tickets are pre-booked, timed and dated. The cost for an adult is £25.95 and for a child £19.95. Disabled guests are offered a concessionary rate with free access from a registered carer.

A limited number of tickets can be purchased from the attraction on the day for £30.95 (adult) and £24.95 (child).

On a height to price ratio the Shard is the most expensive skyscraper to visit in the world.


The attraction has toilets available for visitors. Restroom facilities have panoramic windows featuring River Thames and City of London view visible directly from the toilet seat, with optional electric blinds (short video overview of the restroom).[10]


  1. ^ "The Shard, World Federation of Great Towers". World Federation of Great Towers. Retrieved 17 April 2014. 
  2. ^ Porter, Laura (February 2013). "The View from The Shard". London Travel. Retrieved 17 April 2014. 
  3. ^ "Boris Johnson officially opens the Shard viewing deck". The Telegraph. 1 February 2013. 
  4. ^ "London's Shard skyscraper observation deck opens to public". BBC News London. 1 February 2013. 
  5. ^ "The view from the Shard: a new and expanded panorama of London – interactive". The Guardian. 27 March 2013. Retrieved 17 April 2014. 
  6. ^ "KONE, Case Study: The Shard". KONE. Retrieved 17 April 2014. 
  7. ^ The View from the Shard Media Briefing. May 2013, page 4, accessed 21 May 2015
  8. ^ "The View from The Shard Media Briefing" (PDF). The View From The Shard. Baron Phillips, Baron Phillips Associates. March 2015. Retrieved 20 June 2015. (page 1)"The View from The Shard:...At a maximum height of 244m (800ft), provides spectacular 40 mile (64km) 360 degree views of the city" (Page 5) "Level 72 open-air viewing gallery Guests can go even higher to the viewing gallery on Level 72 (800ft/244m) which is open-air and exposed to the elements." 
  9. ^ "The Shard". LBQ. Retrieved 21 May 2015. It is 95 storeys tall, with level 72 the highest habitable floor. 
  10. ^ "Geberit's Shard toilet on list of 50 must-pee places to visit before you die". The Building Centre. Retrieved 2016-07-28. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 51°30′16″N 0°05′11″W / 51.5045°N 0.0865°W / 51.5045; -0.0865